Concepts are mental representations that allow us to draw appropriate inferences about the type of entities we encounter in our everyday lives. Concepts do not encompass all mental representations, but are merely a subset of them.

Concepts are based on our experiences. Concepts can be based on real phenomena and are a generalized idea of something of meaning. Examples of concepts include common demographic measures: Income, Age, Eduction Level, Number of SIblings.

Rather, I argue that conceptual adequacy should be perceived as an attempt to respond to a standard set of criteria, whose demands are felt in the formation and use of all social science concepts: (1) familiarity, (2) resonance, (3) parsimony, (4) coherence, (5) differentiation, (6) depth, (7) theoretical utility

Identifying these concepts also allows us to effectively pre-assess student understanding to identify any prior knowledge or possible misconceptions they may hold.